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Fortinet nabs wily Coyote and its slice of security appliance cake

Or perhaps we mean pie. Made of meaty customers, anyway

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Network security firm Fortinet has agreed to to acquire application delivery, load balancing and acceleration firm Coyote Point Systems. Financial terms of the deal, structured as a merged and announced on Friday, were not disclosed.

Fortinet is best known for its Unified Threat Management all-in-one security appliances, which are used by SMEs and the branch offices of larger corporates to handle gateway anti-virus, firewall, intrusion prevention and load balancing, among other functions. It also sells high-end firewalls and other security kit. Coyote Point was founded in 1999 and markets the Equalizer ADC (application delivery controller) product line.

There's some product overlap in the deal but Fortinet is trying to reassure Coyote Point customers that there'll be no immediate cull.

"No immediate changes will be made to Coyote Point product offerings, customer support and channel programs or any existing ADC products that Fortinet markets," it said in a statement.

According to latest stats from IDC, Fortinet leapfrogged McAfee in Q4 2012 to reach fourth spot in the overall security appliance market behind Cisco, Check Point and Juniper. The Coyote Point deal will help it to expand its portfolio in competition with the likes of Blue Coat, which also markets application delivery and web acceleration products.

The security appliance market, worth $2.3 billion worldwide in Q4 2012, is highly competitive with market leader Cisco only enjoying a $351 m (15.5 per cent) slice of the pie. Vendors who don't make the top five account for more than half (53.7 per cent) of the market, according to number crunchers at IDC, which adds that Blue Coat, Palo Alto Networks, Barracuda, Sourcefire, and Dell SonicWALL all enjoyed a strong Q4 2012. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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